4 Apps to Help You Improve Your Cooking Skills

Can't pay for culinary training? Here's how to learn to cook without a formal education

When you’re aspiring to become a better chef, it can be difficult to know where to start, especially when cooking is a hobby and you don't want to spend a lot of money. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can improve your cooking skills without spending a fortune on classes or specialty cookware. Thanks to mobile technology and applications (apps), you can work on your culinary craft in your kitchen. ChefsFeed App Like any art form, culinary art needs inspiration. Eating at new, exciting … [Read more...]

The Best Way to Care for Your Most Important Kitchen Tools

how to maintain your best kitchen tools - pots and pans, knives, cutting boards

A few months ago, Doug from the Kitchen Professor, shared several tips for proper knife usage in the kitchen. I invited him back for a few more kitchen tips post to help those of us learning to love the kitchen in our cooking. Today, he's sharing the best ways to care for your favorite, and best, kitchen tools.   In the kitchen, having the right tool for the job makes all the difference and over the years I have put together a nice set of tools. A high quality cutting board is … [Read more...]

Homestyle Ranch Cornbread Muffins A Perfect Complement to my Standard Chili for the Big Game

Made from scratch, these cornbread muffins were excellent and easy to  make

For the past several years, I've been wanting to host a football party. It didn't have to be a big game party... afterall, that's always on a school night, and, almost always, way too late on a school night for a party. Any game would do, as long as I could host a good old football playoff party. One where we'd casually gather, watch football if we wanted, and enjoy wine and beers while the kids played outside. A casual party where we could just sit back to relax all Sunday. Last weekend, … [Read more...]

December Meal Plan Calendar A Menu for the 5 Weeks Leading to the New Year

december meal plan family dinner menu

I was SO wanting to cook on the grill last night. With 65 degree weather at 5 pm, I'm kind of wondering what stopped me. But, if I'm honest with myself, it's that I didn't want to fight the hectic 5 pm grocery store mob to get burger buns. Instead we stuck with the plan and had a delicious baked potato soup. Onward! This week's menu plan has several easy soups and crock-pot dinners, plus another version of turkey meatloaf that will make my family's warm hearts sing. And because … [Read more...]

Julieverse Reads: A Collection of Favorites for Food Lovers (Great books for you or as a gift!)

A list of books a food-lover needs on her bookshelf -- fiction and non-fiction and (surprse!) no cookbooks

This week's Julieverse Reads post was written by Jessica Tom, who gets huge kudos and congratulations for debuting her first novel, Food Whore, today. (Yay Jessica!) A food lover herself, and former restaurant critic for the Yale Daily News Magazine, Jessica is sharing a list of books for food lovers. These books may be great for you, or someone on your holiday gift list. What a great time to learn about the restaurant world. You have TV shows, chef memoirs, splashy magazine spreads, … [Read more...]

August Meal Plan

August meal plan -- 5 weeks of summer meals that are fun and easy for your family

Gazpacho! That's one of my all-time favorite summer foods. I love that you can just take a bunch of tomatos and other garden veggies and make a soup that tastes more and more and more and more delish as the week continues. I might have snuck it in last week. We'll definitely have it this week. Enjoy lots of yum this month! For those of you new to meal planning, be sure to read my basic tips for meal planning post. And to get meal plans in your email inbox, subscribe to the Julieverse … [Read more...]

What’s for Dinner? July Meal Plan

july meal plan - 5 weeks of summer dinners for your family menu

There it is again... that question that rolls around at about 4 pm each afternoon and you know you better know the answer. Here's a little help full of healthy choices your family will enjoy all month long. This plan was created to help you plan cooking 5 weeks of Summer dinners for your family. Use the plan below, shuffling as necessary to make them work best for your family's Summer schedule. You'll find a mix of grilling dinners, make-ahead dinners and dinners using fresh items.  The July … [Read more...]

July Meal Plan: 5 weeks of family-friendly, summer dinners

july meal plan - 5 weeks of summer dinners for your family menu

One year ago, this week, I tilted the table and created the first Julieverse Meal Plan Calendar. Forget weekly, this was whole month of meals. I found that offering a month at a time offered readers more opportunity to plan (they didn't have to wait for Monday) and it offers everyone an opportunity to get more ideas to balance your week and month. So, here it is. The beginning of the 2nd annual monthly meal plan calendar! This plan was created to help you plan cooking 5 weeks of summer … [Read more...]

5 weeks of dinner plans: October

Dinner menus for your busy family -- plan your meals a month at a time and take hours out of the work each week.

If you're new to meal planning, then check out my how to meal plan post which will give you the basic instructions on how to organize your week and get started. Of course, here at Julieverse, I make it easy for you. Each week, I repost the monthly plans, highlighting 5-7 well-rounded, family-friendly meals for you to fit into your plan. Once you get into the habit of planning, you'll find yourself less stressed, spending less money and having to go to the store only once a week. Please give … [Read more...]

August Meal Plan: all planned out for you

august summer meal plan family dinner

As much as I'm loving reading the recipes for all the meals featured on this list, I have to admit that I'm not cooking them all. Summer can be so hard. Last week, I cooked two meals. Two. For me, that's heartbreaking, because I've learned to love cooking and creating and tweaking recipes to fit our family. The week itself was barely planned (yikes!) and a mix of overnights for the kids, sick days for me, movies and field trips. Still, the fact that I had the week pre-planned was so helpful … [Read more...]